Search “goal setting” on your favorite search browser, and you will find yourself with hundreds of thousands of results. Everything on how to set SMART goals to worksheets and books on how to reach them. However, so often, we ignore our big, scary goals for the easily attainable: the baby steps that build. Now, there is nothing wrong with working the process and leveling up when you’re ready. But what happened to the big, scary goals of childhood? Jumping off the high dive or asking your crush out on a date. Those were the goals that legends and movies are made of. Why should you set some new, big, scary goals for yourself and go after them?
Allow Yourself to Dream and Get Excited – When you set your big, scary goal, you are most likely envisioning the finish line in your mind. When you were a kid, this was the cool air blowing around you as you raced down the street on your bike sans training wheels. As an adult, you can let your mind dream of what reaching your goal will look like. Dreaming allows you to get excited about the end of the journey and the steps that will get you there.
Long Term Improvements – When you set a goal and unapologetically work towards it you will find yourself making changes to better accommodate what is needed to reach your goal. These changes are improvements. If you aim to walk a half marathon, you may find yourself switching out your daily lunch/Netflix break for a stroll around the block. This change will be occurring for a long time for you to reach our goal, and most likely will become a long term or lifetime improvement.
Become More Resilient – Life is tough. However, having an endpoint to work towards will allow you to enjoy the journey and not get as caught up in the little things. Besides, no journey is without its painful points. Working through those hitches will allow you to become more resilient and reliant on yourself and your own abilities.
Confront Your Shortcomings – No one is perfect. Most likely you will have a few shortcomings that will make your journey more challenging. Look at your faults and create mini-goals to overcome them. It is one thing when someone or something puts a barrier in your way, but do not be your own worst enemy.
Develop (Good) Habits – Good habits reinforce more good habits, which are the building blocks of meeting our objectives. Your big, scary goal is absolutely nothing if you are not willing to create, develop, and build upon good habits that will carry you to that goal. If you want to walk a half marathon, you will need to start the practice of merely walking more every day. With that habit comes the habit of having good posture when walking. These habits will continue to build.
Big, scary goals are well… big and scary. However, aiming for targets that seem out of your reach will help fuel you with the ambition and appetite to go after them.